Melbourne Cup Day

National and Regional Public Holidays in Victoria, Australia Public Holiday in Victoria

Melbourne Cup Day is celebrated on the first Tuesday in November in Victoria, Australia.

When is Melbourne Cup Day?

How long until Melbourne Cup Day?
This holiday next takes place in 198 Days.
Dates of
Year Weekday Date
2020 Tuesday November 3rd
2019 Tuesday November 5th
2018 Tuesday November 6th
2017 Tuesday November 7th
2016 Tuesday November 1st
1 Day
Known as 'the race that stops a nation', the Melbourne Cup is the most prestigious horse race in Australia

Melbourne Cup Day is a regional public holiday observed in Victoria, Australia.

Melbourne Cup Day is celebrated on the first Tuesday in November.

History of Melbourne Cup Day

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's premier annual horserace. It is run over a distance of 3.2km at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne and is known in Australia and worldwide as 'the race that stops a nation'. It is the richest 'two-mile' handicap in the world and offers the richest prize in Australian sport – an 18ct solid gold trophy valued at AU$175,000 (US$135,000). The race takes place at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November.

Did you know?

The first Melbourne Cup took place in 1861, and was won by Archer, who won 170 pounds and a gold watch.

Melbourne Cup day is a federal holiday across the state of Victoria and a public holiday for everyone within the city area Melbourne and other parts of Victoria. Some towns and cities in Victoria may instead observe a local public holiday on the date of their spring carnivals.

Did you know?

Women have been participating since 1987. To date, the only female jockey to have won the Melbourne Cup is Michelle Payne, who won in 2015.

From 2007 to 2009, it was celebrated as Family and Community Day in the Australian Capital Territory, but the date changed and that holiday is being replaced by Reconciliation Day in 2018.

It has been recorded as public holiday going back to 1865 when it was a half-holiday in Melbourne for public servants and bank officials.

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